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    Re: In praise of the mirror a.h.
    From: Randall Morrow
    Date: 2011 Nov 3, 09:02 -0700

       There are challenges to getting a mirror a.h properly levelled but there is just no other way to get sights of stars, particularly dim stars or stars in the presence of city light pollution.   With my 6.5 inch square mirror you can see stars that are so dim you have to bring your face close to see them,  then slowly back away keeping your eye on the general area as you rise to standing upright.   Even then you may still need the aide of the sextant telescope to see, but you can get a sight.   To get things low in the sky you can stand 10-15 feet back from a mirror and still see clearly.   Sights can be taken in the wind, day or night and you don't have the mess of using or storing liquids.   Using any a.h. other than a mirror, none of this would be possible and the night sky all but invisible.    Because so many more objects are visible I have taken the time to learn the sky better, looking for more and more things to shoot.   Finding and shooting that first sight of a star I haven't seen before is an absorbing challenge.   (I am still after Fomalhut)   Before I became interested in celestial navigation I didn't even look up at the stars at all.   Now I can usually pick out 8-10 stars by name both in the AM and PM.   There are 24 'notches in my gun' at this point, one for each star I have gotten a usable observation of.    So in spite of the problems I am sold on the mirror over any other a.h I have tried.  (Though I am still going to give that pan of wax idea a try soon.)   The digital level seemed to do pretty well but I have switched to a very sensitive spirit level to eliminate the reading ambiguity inherent in the 'black box'.    
    "Once you try mirror...you'll never go back."  
    Again my thanks to all for helping me improve my navigation.
    Randy




    Randall F Morrow PT
    Ergonomics Safety Consultant
    Kern County - Bakersfield

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